Stories from change-makers in India

Uma Kirti Vishnupriya
Youth Leader In India
A baby girl was born in India. Ten fingers, 10 toes, completely healthy.
But that’s not what her father saw when he looked at her — in his eyes, she was a disgrace. She was born a girl, so she dishonored him.

He blamed Uma’s mother for this curse. “My father made it clear what the consequence would be if he’d married a woman who couldn’t bear a son,” Uma says. “She wouldn’t have a life to live. And neither would her child — if that child was a daughter.”

So, Uma’s mother took that child and ran.
Read Uma’s story of survival and strength
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Too often, cities are not safe places for girls and young women.
From catcalling to groping to assault, they face the risk of harassment day and night, on the streets, on public transportation and in public spaces. Some end up dropping out of school because their parents are afraid something will happen to them on their walks to and from the classroom.

That’s why Plan has partnered with girls worldwide to develop Safer Cities for Girls, a long-term gender transformative program working to tackle unequal power relations and challenge harmful social norms.

Kirti has been a youth leader and participant of the Safer Cities for Girls program in India for several years. She trains other girls on issues related to gender-based violence and what they can do to deal with sexual harassment in public spaces. “I encourage them to share their problems and be fearless,” Kirti says.

Kirti also carries out safety audits of local neighborhoods, before presenting recommendations to authorities and local government. She believes the Safer Cities program has “led to improved confidence and increased mobility among girls in my neighborhood."

Now, Kirti is turning her attention to online harassment. “The world needs to acknowledge this issue because it is posing serious concerns. Almost every girl is using smart phones and online applications."

Kirti credits her training with the Safer Cities for Girls program for helping her stand up for herself online, and for helping her feel a sense of community. “Girls should not feel scared if they face any incident of online abuse … We encourage girls to report and share. Together, we can deal with the issue.”

Kirti also has the following advice for social media companies: “I want to ask Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms to provide high security features for these apps to prevent unwanted people from commenting without our permission.”
Learn how girls are fighting for their freedom online
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South India is in a desperate race to fight climate change. And Vishnupriva is one of the young leaders leading the charge.
Semi-arid with a predominantly hot and dry climate, the landlocked area where Vishnupriva lives relies heavily on agriculture. It’s in these very fields that cracks are beginning to appear.

Plan International’s Climate Friendly Schools in Environmentally Sensitive Communities program is placing young leaders like Vishnupriya at the heart of the climate action, which is exactly where she wants to be. " There is just too much pollution in my town, and I want to put a stop to it. We girls, who are part of the Eco Club, have done rallies in our community, installed garbage bins and spoken to elders in the community about the harmful effects of climate change and environmental pollution."

Groups of children, predominantly adolescent girls like Vishnupriva, have been mobilized into eco-clubs in schools and communities, where they learn about environmental protection measures, and discuss ways to take action and engage their communities in saving their local habitat. Vishnupriya is raring to start a movement for collective action. “If girls are given the power and means to stop the advance of climate change, we will do it."
Meet more young people advocating for change

Plan International has been working to improve children’s lives in India since 1979.

Our work in India

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Office & operations

Plan India’s country office is in New Delhi, with program unit offices in Uttarkashi, Gairsain, GNK Maharajganj, Varanasi, Aditha Muzaffarpur, Patna, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, Cap Hyderbad, Sip Hyderbad, Udaipur, Delhi, Bajju, Lunkaransar and Rajdhani.

Technical areas

Plan India focuses on the following program areas: health, sanitation, education, economic empowerment, protection and humanitarian response.

Number of sponsored children

As of June 30, 2022, people like you sponsor 40,734 children in India through Plan International.

Our projects in India

Why sponsor with Plan?

Gender equality is a fight we must all take on together. Through sponsorship, you can change lives and create long-term impact in communities.

The full circle of Fate

When you sponsor a child through Plan, you form an incredible friendship.

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But that’s just the beginning. With Plan, you also have the unique opportunity to:

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Send them birthday gifts and cards.

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Give them special holiday presents called Little Treasures.

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Subscribe them to Plan’s educational kids’ magazine, Sunny Days.

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Arrange a visit (pending any travel restrictions), with individual travel assistance from us.

Each gift offering is safely hand-delivered by us, and given to your child with personalized cards from you. It’s likely that the child you sponsor will have never seen anything like these gifts, and with the exception of Little Treasures they’re available year-round to make the bond between you and your sponsored child even stronger.

Meet a child to sponsor